The Boise Sculptor Turning Steel Pipes into Storied Art
Story Rachel Holt Photos Kimberlee Miller
D’Arcy Bellamy’s metal sculptures have been described conversely as dangerous and whimsical. There’s a contrary feeling to many of Bellamy’s metal pieces—shiny surfaces spite rough edges, playful aesthetics meet bold shapes and primitive styles fight contemporary aesthetics. And then there are his signature spiral elements. They’re everywhere. For Bellamy, they pack a powerful psychological punch. “We see them in seashells, tornadoes, galaxies…even human DNA,” he commented, explaining nature’s inherent inspiration.
Bellamy moved to Boise seven years ago, and after six months, he decided Boise was home. “I love Boise. It’s the community here. Of the two or three circles I run in, I will go to the store or downtown and inevitably run into someone I know. People here don’t care about what you have or have not. They’re just authentic people.”
The largely self-taught Bellamy estimates each piece takes him 30 to 40 hours to create, with the size of any masterpiece determined by what will fit in the bed of his pickup truck, usually five feet to eight feet. One common thread runs through every sculpture–they’re all derived from steel pipes. Bellamy acquires some of his metal pipes here locally from Pacific Recycling,
but primarily sources them from Twin Falls. While all the pipes are new, many have been sitting in the pipe yard for a while, developing a rust pattern. Bellamy coats his pieces with a clear powder coating to preserve the natural colors of the pipe rust. “In my most current pieces, I’ve been working with the rust patina from the pipes,” he described. “I’ve started to see the beauty in that material and incorporated it into my style more and more.
“I started sculpting 15 years ago. I took classes at a non-profit art school. I quickly discovered I was terrible at painting and sculpting until I faced metal sculpture. While I learned a lot from a particularly helpful instructor, I’ve made my work on my own. It’s always a friendly little burn to the establishment that I am not a formally trained artist,” Bellamy added, chuckling.
In addition to the overall beauty of the pieces, Bellamy likes baking an element of surprise into his work, like the delightful shadows his pieces cast. “Depending upon how you light the piece, the shadow is like a whole second piece. Some of the geometric shapes in particular can create really stunning effects on the surrounding area.” His second surprise is movement. Despite a rigid appearance to the metal, each piece actually has springiness to it. “Some of the pieces move only slightly. The spirals are the most kinetic of all the pieces. I really enjoy this part of the sculpture. It’s often a part that most people don’t realize and it adds a playful aspect to it.”
In addition to the spiral and geometric shapes he creates, he’s recently started designing human form pieces. “I like doing these because people always make up a story for each piece, such as where they are going. It’s great!”
Bellamy is currently showing 50 pieces on display between State & Lemp, Coiled Winery and his home gallery. He’s exploring other options for future shows. For more information about D’Arcy Bellamy and his sculptures, check out his website at: darcybellamy.com.
98% of Bellamy’s sculptures are made from ‘mild steel’ and 2% stainless steel pieces.